Session 1 INSPIRE Concept cracking
- To identify previous knowledge about virtues and values
- To be able to explain the concept of the virtue
- To recognise different sources for virtues learning including from the Biblical text
- To understand the significance of key questions in enquiry learning
- To identify further key questions to start an effective virtues enquiry.
- To creatively reflect on learning about the concept of humility using Wordles
Learning activity 1 What are virtues and where do they come from?
Explain that it is important to identify what we already know about virtues and values in order to identify further key questions inspired by the topic to start an enquiry task.
Ask pupils to think of questions to ask about virtues and consider why they are important.
Select introductory questions to suit class pre-knowledge and understanding. Explain that these are the kinds of questions that we can explore together in this enquiry.
Use their questions or some of the following as an entry point:
What kind of person do you want to become? For example – Do you want to live by a set of virtues that: help others? help us make lots of money? help ourselves?…
Can we group virtues into categories to help us understand them better?
Can we identify specific virtues that we aspire to develop? (see Appendix 2 for more information)
- Intellectual virtues e.g. autonomy; critical thinking; curiosity; judgement; reasoning; reflection; resourcefulness
- Moral Virtues e.g. compassion; courage; gratitude; honesty; humility; integrity; justice; respect
- Civil virtues e.g. citizenship; civility; community awareness; neighbourliness; service; volunteering
- Performance virtues e.g. confidence; determination; motivation; perseverance; resilience; teamwork.
- ‘Fruit of the spirit’ virtues e.g. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control – Galatians 5
Where do we get our virtues from? Who teaches us about virtues and virtues?
How do we develop a moral compass and individual virtues? Why is it important?
Who are our role models? (family, friends, celebrities, sports coaches, religious leaders, characters).
N.B Select introductory questions to suit class pre-knowledge and understanding.
Introduce pupils to the fact that different cultures and communities adhere to an agreed set of core virtues, some of which are universal virtues or come from a philosophy, Sacred text and religious teaching or are part of a political framework – for example British Virtues. Many virtues are common across different sources but the interpretation and significance of these will be distinct.
Extension: Look in more detail at The Jubilee Centre categorisation of virtues as a stimulus for further discussion.
A Christian viewpoint on Virtues. In Christianity the ‘fruit of the spirit’ are biblically inspired virtues (personal qualities) that Jesus taught about and modelled to his followers, that believers seek to acquire as part of their faith-based character development. They believe that this process is an outworking of their relationship with God, believing in God as their saviour and the Holy Spirit as the teacher and enabler. This unit will help pupils explore some of the distinctions and overlaps between universal moral and biblically inspired virtues. The design and content of the learning activities focussed on the study of moral and biblical virtues will require them to exercise intellectual virtues as well as reflect upon them. The Bible drama workshop will deepen awareness of performance related virtues.
Learning activity 2 Be a Virtues Detective!
Show pupils the clip of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet from Wintershall’s The Life of Christ.
With no input, ask them if they notice any particularly moral virtues that Jesus or his disciples are showing. Invite them to comment on what impacted them, or what they noticed.
Show the Wintershall ‘Actor Viewpoint Clip’ Humility to hear a volunteer actor describing how the experience of acting in the biblical drama impacted them and their understanding of biblically inspired moral virtues. Discuss pupil responses.
Invite pupils to suggest further related questions about Virtues – record on post its. Decide together how to display these questions for reflection, perhaps as a giant ‘class thought shower’ that can be added to throughout the enquiry learning journey to promote questioning.
Virtues Journals – Record responses and questions re what is a virtue and Be a Virtues Detective activity
Learning activity 3 Creating a Virtues ‘Wordle’ – What does humility mean to me?
Ask pupils to work in pairs, (with no teacher input) and write down a sentence or two about humility beginning the sentence with ‘Humility is…’
Explain how ‘Wordle’ Clouds work. See examples of ‘Wordles’. Demonstrate how repeated words are largest etc. Create a ‘Wordle’ reflection using all the outcomes starting with ‘Humility is… either
- using the online website with teacher support using all the outcomes starting with ‘Humility is…
- or work in pairs to create a hand drawn ‘Wordle’ on A3 paper.
Suggestion for follow-up assembly preparation
This ‘Wordle’ can be put into a PowerPoint and used as part of the introduction when pupils explain what the assembly is about and how they have explored humility or photos taken of hand drawn ‘Wordle’ reflection and input into PowerPoint.
Learning activity 4 Identifying Big Questions to help our virtues enquiry?
What deeper key questions do we need to support our virtues Enquiry about Humility?
Pupils in groups of three to thought shower key questions to help them investigate humility – e.g. to do with what the Virtue is(concept) how we show it, the impact and what the Bible can teach us.
- What are virtues and how do we experience them in different aspects of everyday life? (intellectual, moral, civic, performance, spiritual)
- What is humility?
- When do you show humility in different situations?
- What qualities do you need to be humble towards yourself, towards others and in situations?
- What is difficult about being humble?
Why is it better to be humble rather than proud?
What difference could faith in God make to showing humility?
What helps you learn to be humble?
Pupils contribute a list of their key questions to a class list and through discussion agree a shortlist for the Virtues Enquiry that can support an investigation.